Judge upholds eBay's $30m fine

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A judge has upheld a US$30m fine against eBay for patent infringement. The move is the latest in eBay’s long-running legal battle with MercExchange, who claim to have invented Buy It Now. Back in 2003, a jury found in favour of ME and awarded them $35m in damages; eBay contested this and the award was reduced to $25m. With interest in the intervening period, this has now increased to $30m, but the case isn’t over yet: “we are disappointed with the court’s order and we plan to appeal it”, eBay said in a statement yesterday.

MercExchange have been trying for an injunction to stop eBay using Buy It Now altogether, presumably so that they could then license their “invention” back to eBay: a judge has previously said that ME have used their patents “as a sword to extract money”.

One Response

  1. As much as I think eBay needs a slap to the head on a lot of issues, this particular case is based on nonsense. There is no special “technology” that should be patentable in the case of a “Buy It Now” button. The U.S. patent system is shocking, and the courts upholding such a thing is even worse. I agree with the judge who previously said that this patent is being used to extract money. I can’t believe a court is upholding it!



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